Watson has left 'homework' incident behind: Bailey
It was seven months ago that the then Australia opener was punished with a one-match suspension, along with Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson, for not submitting an assignment. Ashutosh Sharma reports.cricket Updated: Oct 19, 2013 00:31 IST
Despite scoring a Test century here in 2010, Shane Watson does not have happy memories of the PCA Stadium.
It was seven months ago that the then Australia opener was punished with a one-match suspension, along with Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson, for not submitting an assignment.
Watson returned to Australia for the birth of his first child and for a while even contemplated giving up the game.
In that Test, Australia succumbed to a six-wicket loss and eventually went on to lose the series 0-4.
But ahead of the third ODI, George Bailey is confident that Watson has more or less buried the past and is approaching the game with a positive frame of mind.
“It feels like a long way in the past. I am sure he has moved on and this issue has been dealt with and also spoken about a lot. I reckon, he is in a better frame of mind now,” said the skipper.
Certainly, a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then.
Coach Mickey Arthur was replaced by Darren Lehmann mid-way into the Ashes series. Watson it seems has made peace with the new role assigned to him but is still to make an impression.
He averaged around 46.76 as an opener in limited-overs cricket for Australia in 77 matches, but as No 3, the average has dropped to 37.73 in the previous 16 games.
In prime form
The all-rounder did give glimpses of his destructive power with a whirlwind 59 in Jaipur, which Bailey said is a good sign for the team.
“His hitting straight away put the India spinners on the back-foot and certainly at the moment it’s working well for us. I don’t see much reason to change. His ability to play spin is valuable to the team,” he said.
With the series level, Bailey said though his team is yet to recover from the surprise loss in the previous game, he added he will back the same group ahead of the third match.
“We were outstanding in the first game and I don’t think one game where the Indian batters got on top warrants a change,” said Australia’s stand-in skipper.